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NYSERDA Grant Powers ESF Centre to Aid Manufacturing

20 May 2011

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) are providing $900,000 USD to develop environmentally friendly ways to make coatings and resins cure more quickly.

The grant will fund the establishment of the Ultraviolet Light (UV) and Electron Beam (EB) Process Curing Systems Technology Centre at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF).

The aim of the centre is to develop formulas that produce little to no harmful emissions in the manufacture and application of resin used in the fabrication of composite materials.

ESF's Dr. Mark Driscoll, who will direct the centre, said the facility will allow manufacturers to test the UV and EB technologies to see how they can apply the new technologies to their businesses before investing in equipment. Cost savings with UV and EB processes are typically significant enough that the equipment pays for itself within two or three years, he said. Driscoll's co-director will be Dr. Jennifer Smith of ESF's Department of Sustainable Construction Management and Engineering.

Industrial partners in the project include Knowlton Technologies of Watertown, a manufacturer of engineered composites and wet-laid non-woven materials; Transparent Materials of Rochester, a manufacturer of surface functionalised, self assembling nanomaterials for dental and biomedical composites; IBA Industrial of Long Island, an electron beam equipment manufacturer; and MAS Associates of Indian Lake, a manufacturer of data acquisition and automation systems.

“The selection of this centre is the result of NYSERDA's jointly sponsored work with RadTech International,” said Francis J. Murray, Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. “The Centre offers assistance to help New York-based manufacturers adopt ultraviolet light and electron beam-curing technologies that can dramatically cut costs and waste, enable New York State manufacturers to remain competitive and reduce air emissions.”

Dr. Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr., ESF President, said: “The centre is an excellent opportunity for SUNY-ESF's students, faculty and technical staff to work closely with New York State manufacturers on energy efficient curing and manufacturing processes. The College will help develop and transfer the latest in energy-efficient ultraviolet light and electron beam technologies to the coating, adhesive and composite industries in New York State. These new technologies will help New York State-based companies be more competitive by reducing costs and marketing more environmentally friendly products.”

“NYSERDA demonstrates tremendous leadership and vision in U.S. manufacturing through its support of UV and EB technologies,” says Howard Ragin, of DSM NeoResins and President of RadTech. “The establishment of the technology centre and continued support of uv.eb East offers great potential to position the state as a global leader in this fast emerging technology.”

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